Kindergartners learn more math in classrooms with higher average levels of student engagement, concludesin the current issue of the American Journal of Education.
But some children benefit more than others.
Authors Keith Robinson, an assistant sociology professor at the University of Texas at Austin, and Anna S. Mueller, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Memphis, found that children who are themselves highly engaged and those who start the school year with better math scores gain the most in classrooms with higher average levels of engagement. Students with lower levels of engagement also do better in those classrooms, but it makes less of a difference for them—which can lead to long-term consequences as they fall behind.
The findings are based on an analysis of 12,462 kindergarten students who took part in the U.S. Department of Education’s Early Childhood Longitudinal Study of children who attended kindergarten in 1998 and 1999.
A version of this article appeared in the June 04, 2014 edition of Education Week as Classroom Engagement